Page:O. F. Owen's Organon of Aristotle Vol. 1 (1853).djvu/78

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

was true to say before that it will be "white," so that it was always true to say of any thing generated that it either is, or that it will be; but if it was always true to say that it is, or will be, it is impossible that this is not, nor should be; and whatever must of necessity be, it is impossible that it should not have been generated, and what it is impossible should not have been generated must of necessity have been generated; wherefore all things that will be, it is necessary should be generated, and hence there will be nothing casual nor fortuitous, for if it were fortuitous it would not be of necessity. Nor is it possible to say, that neither of them is true, as that it will neither be, nor will not be, for in the first place the affirmation being false, the negation will not be true, and this being false, it results that the affirmation is not true. And besides, if it were true to say that a thing is at the same time "white" and "great," both must of necessity be, but if it shall be to-morrow, it must necessarily be to-morrow, and if it will neither be nor will not be to-morrow, it will not be a casual thing, for example, a naval engagement, for it would be requisite that the engagement should neither occur nor not occur.

These and similar absurdities then will happen, if of every affirmation and negation, whether in respect of universals enunciated universally, or of singulars, it is necessary that one of the opposites be true and the other false, but that nothing happens casually in those things which subsist, but that all are, and are generated of necessity; so that it will neither be necessary to deliberate nor to trouble ourselves, as if we shall do this thing, something definite will occur, but if we do not, it will not occur. For there is nothing to prevent a person for ten thousand years asserting that this will happen, and another person denying it, so that of necessity it will have been then true to assert either of them. And it makes no difference whether any persons have uttered a contradiction or not, for